I should really be working, or packing or doing something constructive. In stead, I am feeling the urge to blog. I should also be doing the last 3 weekend reports, but I have other issues on my mind.
I guess, the big question in the USA today is, " Where were you today, 7 years ago?". In South Africa, the question in general is: "Where were you when Nelson Mandela was released?" I remember vividly both occasions. When Madiba was released, I was mourning my broken engagement in Cape Town at a good friend's home. When 9/11 happened, I was in my office, working, when my partner's wife called in shock, busy watching CNN and seeing the second plane hitting the towers. Just moments before the call, I received the news that my best friend Hesti's twins were born, just a couple of hours ago. At 32 weeks, very tiny and suffering from Twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Relatively safely delivered after lifesaving in-utero surgery on the placenta at 25 weeks. I was relieved that they were living and doing well under circumstances, but worried about the possible implications of all this.
Yes, my best friend of 20 years and I both have twins. And this is not where the co-incidence stops! Both of us have daughters that are almost exactly the same amount of months older than our twins (both pairs boy/boy). Both set of twins were spontaneous, in both cases there is no family history of twins. Both of us tried in some way to plan our second pregnancy - she for what she believed was the perfect spacing, I for a much wanted boy. She planned according to parenting books, I to Dr. Shettles' method. Both of us were show by God that He does the planning. Is that not wonderful? And am I not the luckiest girl to have a best friend that can support me and knows what I am going through as she has been there, done that, a couple of years ago?
Her boys are doing well, but do have some issues relating to the T2T - the one has a light form of autism and both have learning difficulties. But therapy and early intervention surely went far to deal with these issues. Where her pregnancy was difficult, mine was completely the opposite and The Boys were born at 37 weeks, 1 day weighing in at 2,92 and 3,02 kg. My pregnancy was the biggest act of dependency on God that I have ever done and have taught me a lot. But more about that at another time.
On to my favourite topic of the moment - the Paralympics! South Africa had a dismal run at the Olympics, but it is our disabled athletes that are doing us proud at the moment. We are in the top 10 medal run! Wow, for a country with our population and funding, that is remarkable. And did you know that 2 of the world's most incredible athletes are South Africans? Off course, I am talking about Natalie du Toit and Oscar Pistorius.
Natalie has just won her third gold medal and another world record - if you want to read her storey, go here. But that is not the only thing that makes her so special - she is the very first person in the whole wide world to compete in the Olympics (she came 16th in the marathon open water swim) and the Paralympics and also the first person to carry her country's flag at both opening ceremonies. She was one of TIME magazine's 100 athletes to watch at the Beijing Olympics. She was already a promising swimmer when her accident occurred. A true inspiration.
Oscar Pistorius, better know as The Blade Runner is just an amazing athlete. Winning his appeal to compete in the Olympics so late that he could not qualify, he was robbed of his dream to compete in both events. But he has already won gold in the 100m and is set for more. If you want to read his story, link here.
And then,to my joy, double gold for South Africa's Phillipa Johnson in the equestrian dressage - my pre-kids passion. She was also an equestrian before a car accident after which she had to learn to walk and ride again. She has lost the use of her one arm.
Sometimes when one feels that life is getting you down, just take a look at these stories of courage. The human spirit is truly amazing.